It's official, people will buy anything. According to a report in the Sioux City Journal in Iowa, a woman has sold a 3-year-old chicken nugget in a charity fundraiser. And why was it worth so much? It apparently resembled George Washington.
And this is far from the craziest thing that can sell at auction.
The nuggetThe newspaper reported that Rebekah Speight of Dakota City sold it as part of a charity auction to raise money to send children to summer church camp in Sioux City, so someone will benefit from this oddity
eBay reportedly bent its rules on selling the truly bizarre in order to list the nugget because it was for charity. The listing said "By bidding on this rare 'President George Washington Chicken McNugget' ...not only will you have an opportunity to be the new owner of this rare find, but you will be investing in the lives of children."
As yet, there is no independent verification of the story, but there's no reason to doubt it. After-all, this is far from the strangest thing to have been bought and sold at auction recently.
Weird auctionsOnline casino GoldenPalace.com is a big buyer of the weird and wonderful on eBay. Its recent purchases have included oxygen exhaled by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (for $529.99), a grilled cheese sandwich featuring an image of the Virgin Mary for $28,000, and William Shatner's kidney stone for $25,000.
On the less weird side of things, reputable auction houses occasionally have sales of the unusual.
Christie's auction house in London recently sold a biscuit from Scott's expedition to the Antarctic for more than £1,000. It also sold a 'Vampire Slaying' kit, with pieces from the 19th century for many times more than the estimate back in 2010.
What will sell?A Christie's spokesperson said: "With all of these things, provenance is the most important part. We have experts here and we will always consult highly specialist external experts for more specialist lots. Normally there will be two or three months between when we see an item and the auction, so we can look into the background."
Jamie Breese, an antiques and collectibles broadcaster and expert adds: "It's not surprising that items linked to famous people can hold a great deal of value in the collectibles world. George Washington holds a tremendous premium when items are authenticated, and historical figures, unlike popular bands and one-hit-wonders, tend to fluctuate less in value with the level of fame they have at any given time."
The Christlie's spokeswoman explained that unusual things don't tend to go for as much as mainstream memorabilia, because the average collector is not interested - it is the die hard collector who is looking for something different. However, she adds: "Our specialists have spent many years building up their expertise, so they know the items for which there will be a buyer. That's where the value comes at auction: having two or more people who want to buy it."
However, Breese adds that online auctions mean that the widest possible group sees your auction item, which is why it is probably "king of the wild and whacky". He says: "The internet hasn't changed the items that are up for grabs but it has made them more accessible."
So as long as more than one other person in the world wants the weird and wonderful things in your possession, you too could join the ranks of people who made their fortune from selling something truly strange... even if it is only a chicken nugget.